WINN-DIXIE EXTENSION HEARING SET FOR THIS WEEK
xie Stores' third request for an extension of its deadline to propose a plan of reorganization, and to decide whether to assume or reject store leases, is scheduled for Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court here. Winn-Dixie, which has twice extended its plan proposal deadline since filing for bankruptcy last February, asked the court to extend the deadline to submit a plan from Dec. 19 to March 20, and the period to solicit acceptances of the plan until May 22. Winn-Dixie said it needed the time to consider whether to assume or reject additional store leases, as well as to review other claims and contracts, and monitor the effectiveness of its business initiatives implemented in stores earlier this year.
KROGER, DALLAS WORKERS AGREE TO FOUR-YEAR DEAL
CINCINNATI -- Kroger here said last week that its workers in Dallas have voted to ratify a new four-year contract. The new contract covers approximately 6,800 clerks represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1000, Grapevine, Texas. The deal provides "excellent wages and benefits -- including affordable health care -- that will enable Kroger to be more competitive on labor costs with other retailers in the market," according to Kroger. According to local media reports, existing employees will continue to receive company-funded health insurance, and new hires will pay up to $10 per week. The Dallas contract represented the last expiring contract for Kroger in 2005.
REMODELS BOOST VILLAGE SUPERMARKET'S 1Q RESULTS
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- A replacement store in Somers Point, N.J., and store expansions here and in Bernardsville, N.J., helped boost sales at Village Supermarkets by 2.6% during its fiscal first quarter that ended Oct. 29, the company said. Same-store sales increased by 2%, boosted by remodels and by a competitive closing, and offset by reduced sales in some stores as a result of competitive openings, the company added. Village, which operates 23 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, earned $2.9 million, or 92 cents per share, on sales of $243.4 million.
HOMELAND TO REBANNER KANSAS FOOD 4 LESS STORES
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Seven Food 4 Less stores in the Wichita, Kan., market will be converted to the Homeland banner early next year, Homeland officials here confirmed last week. Earlier this year, Homeland said it would combine back-office operations between its stores and Falley's Inc., the Topeka, Kan.-based owner of Food 4 Less. Both companies are customers of Kansas City, Kan.-based Associated Wholesale Grocers. Homeland took ownership of Food 4 Less stores late last month, and plans to close one Wichita location. AWG acquired Falley's from Fred Meyer in 1988. It had exclusive rights to use the Food 4 Less banner in Kansas and Missouri.
IGA FRANCHISES 60 STORES IN BRAZIL; 120 MORE ON TAP
CHICAGO -- IGA here said last week it has franchised 60 more stores in Brazil, giving it a total of 88 in the South American nation. The stores were franchised under the auspices of a new organization, Union Brazil Supermarket, developed through a partnership of independent retailers and two retail cooperatives -- RedeShow IGA and Multi Market IGA. Pinedo Kasper, managing director of Union Brazil IGA, said another 120 stores could open in Brazil under the IGA banner in 2006.
PAY BY TOUCH ACQUIRES COMPETING BIOMETRIC FIRM BIOPAY
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pay By Touch, a-provider of biometric technology for payment processing, last week said it has agreed to acquire competing biometrics firm BioPay, Herndon, Va., for $82 million in stock and cash. BioPay, which is strong in check cashing, has 1,600 retail implementations, Pay By Touch said. Pay By Touch said it has agreements with two of the top five U.S. grocers and has 55 of the top 100 retailers as customers.